What exactly it means to get fit? Does it mean one should work for six-pack abs or lose/ gain weight? Well, we believe that one can exercise right at home! Yes, from basic home workouts to diet plans, here’s everything about making fitness and overall health a way of your life!
When we exercise, our body releases a hormone called as endorphins that make us happy. When we sweat out and indulge in a high-intensity physical activity, the body releases the hormone. There are other hormones, too, that are released when we exercise like dopamine, estrogen and serotonin.
So, with so many advantages, who wouldn’t want to exercise? Above all, we need to be healthy to pursue our dreams and more. To live longer and lead a healthy and happy life, fitness is really important. So, let’s dive into the world of fitness!
How to Get Fit?
One can get fit by exercising, eating well and by having a peaceful mind. A healthy lifestyle not only helps to get fit but also changes your work and personal life. And to get fit, you don’t have to always spend a bomb or join a gym. You can get fit by investing time and dedication. You can start by exercising for 15 minutes initially and gradually increase the time or workout for 15 minutes only everyday. 🙂 So, now let’s check out types of workout, diet and wellness!
Gym or Workout at Home?
Working out at home can give similar results as working out at gym, if only you are dedicated enough. Personally, I prefer working out at home. With our busy lives, it’s almost impossible to think about spending extra time to commute to the gym. Lol! But the whole point is one shouldn’t rely only on gym to workout. But either way, one needs to be dedicated enough to get fit.
How to Work Out at Home?
If you plan to work out at home, it’s important to be motivated and committed at the same time. Here are some ideas:
1. Timing: Assign a specific time for yourself to workout. It may be morning, late evenings or even noon. And follow the same timings everyday and becomes a part of your workout. And it makes you disciplined, too.
2. Intensity: If you can’t go out for your cardio session, indulge in a high-intensity workout at home. Like you can jog on the terrace or do an hour of Zumba or aerobics. Climbing up and down the stairs is also a great idea. A combination of jumping jacks and lunges or skipping are a few cardio exercises you can do at home.
3. Fun: A few dance style workouts are also great workout ideas. Try Zumba, Aerobics, Bokwa and many more. It’s always good to have a combination of workouts in a week. And try sports like tennis or throwball. This makes you stay motivated and breaks the monotony.
4. Equipment: Invest in some equipment for weight/ strength training. And sometimes you can even replace it with DIY equipment. For example, instead of a dumbbell, you can use a water bottle, instead of a stretch rope, you can use an old tee-shirt.
5. Rest day: It’s important to take a day off and rest your body. So, before taking an off, try to indulge in yoga as it’s a perfect way to rest your body.
Get in Shape with the 4 Essential Aspects of Working Out
Whether you wanna lose or gain weight, always try to set long-term goals. Once you reach your goal, don’t stop exercising, or you may end up gaining extra kilos or overeat after a few months. So, here are four main aspects of a workout. Let’s check ’em out!
Cardio or cardiovascular exercise is an activity that raises heart rate and increases your blood flow. Mostly it’s used to shed off extra calories from the body. But cardio is necessary for everyone to have a healthy heart. Since it’s a high-intensity workout, there will also be an increased amount of energy.
Core exercises improve the balance and stability. They also help to perform daily activities well. Many sports and physical activities require stable core muscles. The exercises that can be performed with the combination of abdominal and back muscles form the core exercises. Planks, ab workouts, burpees, bridges, etc. are a few examples of core workouts.
3. Strength Training
Strength training is also an important aspect of a workout routine. To develop strong bones, increase bone density and to maintain an ideal weight, strength training is very important to get fit. It also increases your metabolism and burns calories. Strength training exercises include squats, weights, bench press etc.
Along with other activities, stretching is also important. Stretching helps to keep the muscles strong and healthy. It also improves your flexibility. This may lead to joint pain or muscle strains. By practicing stretching regularly, you can have flexible and lean muscles. Stretching will not increase your flexibility in a day. It may even take months to achieve flexibility. Yoga is a very effective way to enhance flexibility.
Is Home Workout Effective?
Home workout is effective if you assign a dedicated time and exercise with dedication. One needs to motivate and workout regularly without fail. Imagine if you were going to the gym or any other classes for physical activities like yoga, Zumba or Aerobics, you would give your 100 percent.
If not 100 percent, you would atleast try your maximum to go and workout, right?! So, likewise, it’s important to plan a workout at home itself. Home workout is cost effective and doesn’t depend on conditions like weather or time.
The Only List of Exercises You Need to Get Fit
Always try to have a combination of workout types for a better living. By doing so you won’t get bored or be demotivated. But however, we have made a list of exercises that make an effective workout. Let’s check out!
Cardio is one of the most effective workouts. No matter what your body size is, it’s important to sweat and raise your heart rate. Ultimately, it’s the heart that helps you live a longer life.
Try to indulge in running in the park instead of a treadmill. If you can’t go out then try to indulge in small jogs on your terrace. In fact, you can run inside your home, too, if you’ve enough space. You can play an outdoor sport or indulge in activities like Zumba, aerobics or power yoga. These are effective enough to raise your heart rate.
2. Core Exercises
It’s important to have a strong core to get fit and live a healthy life. Core exercises improve your balance and stability. They are also great for toning your body. Here are a few sets of exercises to build a strong core.
- Planks are a great form of exercise to try! Apart from gaining a toned belly, it’s beneficial to reduce back pain, improve flexibility, balance and posture. Try different forms like rocking, knee, side and reverse plank.
- Along with planks, try burpees for an even stronger core. Burpees are ideally a combination of cardio and core strength building exercises. Hence, they are beneficial for a full body workout!
- Weight training exercises don’t have to be performed in the gym only. You can practice them at home, too. You may need dumbells of 2 kg for a beginner and you can gradually increase later. Perform squats, push-ups, dips and crunches with the help of dumbells.
- Standing abs have many benefits as you will engage more muscles. This no-equipment exercise is beneficial for lower abs, upper abs and obliques.
In the process of getting fit, stretching exercises are also important. Improved flexibility is the key to a great body. And stretching helps avoid injuries like pulled muscles. You can indulge in stretching exercises like runner’s stretch, side stretch, lunges, seated back twist and bound angle. It’s important to stretch before and after a workout. Also, different forms of yoga are also helpful to improve flexibility. Check out our yoga series to practice yoga.
4. Strength Building Exercises
Finally, strength building exercises like squats and bench press help to build muscles, improves balance, helps to boost your performance in any sport.
4-Week Workout Plan
So, I have a personalized 4-week plan for you guys. Yay! So, this is a unique plan, which you can also try (of course, modify according to your own needs!) So, from maintaining a proper diet to exercise plan, this is an exclusive get fit and motivational plan. You can take inspiration from this plan and make your own challenge, too! Let’s check out!
So, the first week is always a goal setting week. In this stage, you may find it challenging to workout and maintain a proper diet. But never give up because this initial stage will inspire you to get fit and complete your target. Start with cardio sessions by running. Whatever your goal may be – cardio helps all. So, start by running in park for 3 km thrice a week.
Coming to diet, you don’t have to maintain a particular diet but cut down on all junk food. Try to eat homecooked food and cut down fried food, refined sugar and add more veggies and fruits to your diet.
Once you’re on the challenge and successfully completed the first week, the second week may get boring. I will be honest here, I, too, have experienced this kind of disliking after a week of following a particular diet or exercise regimen. So, it’s okay if you have cravings. Try to stick to the plan 4-6 days a week. But in case you can’t resist, it’s alright to indulge that cupcake once a month!
Increase your running distance to 5 km and add core strengthing exercises like pushups, leg raises, crunches and planks. Do a set of 20 and 30 seconds of planks.
By week 3, you would’ve reached a stage where you’re motivated but at the same time bored of your food. So, to keep it going, try a variety of recipes. Remember to make a list of these recipes before you start the challenge. This helps you to focus on your challenge than hustle about giving up.
With fitness, you can continue the same set of exercises of pushups, crunches, leg raises and planks and add weight training, too. You can try standing abs dumbell workout for 20 minutes. You can also increase your workout session to five days a week.
By now, you’ll be more confident and workout like a pro. You can workout on all the seven days of the week and complete it with a bang. Also, by continuously following your fitness regimen, fitness would have become a daily regimen by now.
Motivation: Make Your Own Get Fit Challenge
By now you know that making your own fitness plan is easy peasy! But the diet plans are very individual. Just like skincare! Yes, you can take inspiration from others and plan out your diet and exercises. But it’s ultimately your body’s call. If I can run 10 km, someone else may run only 5 km. So, diet and fitness plan is very unique and differs from person to person.
However, there are gyms, personal trainers, apps to assist you to get fit with personalized programs. But when you plan one yourself, it helps you to know your body better. It also helps you to understand which exercises you like or dislike and what works or doesn’t work. So, with so many benefits, you must be already motivated to start your own! Here are a few points to make your own plan to get fit!
Your Own Get Fit Challenge
1. First, write down your goal. Whether it’s to lose weight, add 2 extra miles in your daily jog, increase core strength or whatever write down in a notebook. It may sound basic but this helps you to have a vision towards your goal.
2. Once you have set a goal, now you plan on your exercises. Start off and if you feel something is not working then change or customize your exercise plan accordingly.
3. Along with exercising, plan your diet, too! Never starve yourself and try to eat well when you’re working out. Never try a diet that tells you to stop eating a food category or that keeps any essential nutrients away. This is the phase where you need to be motivated so that you can continue your fitness journey for a lifetime. Diet and exercise go hand in hand, so make sure you include all the essential nutrients and proteins in your food intake. Stay hydrated.
4. It’s also okay if you feel like not working out or indulging in junk in the middle of the challenge. But never commit a sin like that on purpose. 😉 Lol! The whole point is, everyone has cravings and it’s normal to feel gloomy at times.
5. Try to get in your group of friends into the challenge. By this way, you can motivate each other and make your challenge successful!
6. Maintain a journal of your journey. Log your tiny achievements. This helps you to plan things ahead. And it’s also a good thing to look back and motivate yourself!
7. It’s also important to eat on time when you’re traveling so that you’ll avoid eating junk food. Also, make sure to work out atleast 15 minutes in a day. You can indulge in any activity but a cardio session is the best as you will sweat it out. During the holiday or party season, resist yourself from eating sugary or junk food once a day.
Also, check out: 21 Day Challenge: 3 Week Workout Schedule for REAL Results
Diet & Wellness: How to Keep Your Body Fit?
Apart from exercising well, diet and wellness, too, are important aspects to get fit. If you want to stay fit and healthy then it’s also important to maintain a proper diet. So here are a few points regarding diet!
1. It’s important to maintain a diet that consists of essential nutrients, vitamins and proteins in your daily food intake. Carbs and fats are as essential as protein, although not necessarily in that quantity.
2. Always have a big breakfast and a light dinner. And hydrate yourself well by drinking about 6-8 glasses of water a day.
3. Instead of three large meals, divide into three medium-sized meals plus small healthy snacks in a day. This helps you to avoid eating junk food as you would be full. You can divide your meals in the following way:
- Early breakfast: Protein-rich food like eggs, milk, fruits, sprouts sandwich etc.
- Mid-morning snack: Yogurt, berries or a protein bar.
- Lunch: Portion of carbs like rice, salad and proteins like poultry, fish or chickpeas.
- Evening snack: One fruit or a handful of almonds or nuts.
- Dinner: Salad and proteins.
- Before bed: A fruit or a glass of warm milk.
4. Try to include different colored veggies and fruits in your diet. For example, orange fruits and vegetables contain potassium, vitamin C and beta-carotene, which is vitamin A. And dark leafy vegetables are a good source of iron and calcium. So, make sure you include different types of veggies and fruits in your diet every week.
Diet & Wellness
5. Limit yourself from added refined sugars and junk food. The trick is to not give up completely on bad food. It’s okay to indulge yourself with fried food, chocolates or other junk food but limit it to small portions only once a week.
6. When you workout, it’s important to maintain a diet and watch out what you eat. Like pre-workout meals or consuming proteins after your workout.
7. Don’t go for a cheat day once a week, instead indulge with your favorites once a month. If you maintain a proper diet for six days in a week and overeat one day then that doesn’t make sense. Having one meal that’s unhealthy is okay! Also, make sure you check the essential nutrients that your body needs with a diet chart. Or if you’re too specific, it’s better to consult your nutritionist. Try to eat healthy food that you enjoy, so you develop a taste for it.
8. Make sure to have fresh and home cooked food. With our busy lives, it may be difficult to cook and eat at home. But it hardly takes a few hours in a day. So, you can start by having your own home garden. This helps you to motivate to cook and have fresh food. Also, it makes a great hobby to pursue.
9. Eat your food slowly and chew well. This helps you to digest well and increases your level of satisfaction and you will be full.
10. In addition to diet, it’s important to sleep well. Make sure you get 8 hours of sleep everyday. Also, meditate atleast for 10 minutes a day. You don’t have to have a specific time for it.
Maintain Shape & Try Different Exercises When Bored
Just like the way we consume different types of food everyday, even with exercising, you may be bored with the same routine. Imagine you’re eating the same food everyday, which is healthy (homecooked – same veggies) but you won’t be gaining all the essential nutrients, right? Same with workout.
So, it’s always better to plan your workout with different forms of exercises every week. If you are running in the park for cardio on a Monday, try Zumba on Tuesday. Likewise, skip a cardio session and work on flexibility on any other day of the week. By doing so, you won’t get bored and continue your fitness regimen easily. Likewise try new healthy recipes, too.
So, that was all about maintaining a healthy lifestyle! Are you ready to get fit? Did you like our ideas for a healthier life? Share your thoughts by tweeting @shilpa1ahuja!
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Sahana is a Senior Staff Writer at ShilpaAhuja.com. With an experience in fashion and lifestyle writing, Sahana is responsible for Indian and international fashion week coverage every year, and is developing an expertise in apparel trend forecasting. She also writes about health and fitness, having pursued yoga for 6 years now. She’s not a gym person at all but is all for “running in the park” and is an amateur cyclist. Books and coffee are her other passions. She’s also an amateur photographer. She’s a hardcore Bollywood fan and she loves to cover the nostalgic topics on the same. From fashion trends to famous characters, she can make anyone love Bollywood! Her best article has been 90s Bollywood fashion, a readers’ favorite so far! Prior to her experience with ShilpaAhuja.com, Sahana has written as a freelance author for online magazine, Mashup Corner, and interned at EventsHigh as a content writer. Her blogs on basic fashion, makeup, fitness and city’s food joints that gave her a chance to experiment with her writing. She also has voiced her opinions about feminism and equal rights for men and women at PolkaCafe journals and after quitting her job, she decided to take up writing as her full time career.
Sahana is an engineering graduate and has worked in an MNC, Tesco, for more than a year as an Operations Support. It was her sheer love for fashion that made her quit the monotonous 9 to 5 job to pursue a career in the fashion industry. She’s originally from Bangalore and is currently settled in Chennai (she’s loving the city)! For any queries and discussions, contact her at [email protected] You can also tweet her at https://twitter.com/Sahana_17